NWoNFT: a beautiful mess

Nisalda is back to fill us in on the inertia and subsequent resurrection of her creative drive through the pursuit of the ever-elusive green thumb.

The deed is done. I've buried them all. It only took my bare two hands. I'll have to clean out the dirt from under my fingernails and tell someone what I did at some point but, for now, I sip my cold, unsweetened tea and proudly take in the beginnings of my first-ever mini garden. It's going to be so cute. (Flips hair.)

Hello. This past month has been one heck of a ride, lemme tell ya. I slipped in and out of motivation. I questioned reality and took a couple of hard falls, mentally. I crawled into my mancave, starfished on my bed and stared at the ceiling for extra-long periods of time. I took things out of their place and dropped them into miscellaneous piles, creating a jumble that reflected my thoughts. A room as messy as my mind - what a dangerous place. Yet, I lived in it. I’d dance without pants over the hills of material crap - which actually did help a little - to then fall onto them and nap excessively. I’d leave for long, aimless drives. I’d get back, cook food and not want it. Starfish, bed, dance, nap, drive, breathe, repeat. Why these things happen, I wish I knew, but I don’t, and they do, so they did, but they’re done. Phew.

As exhausting as these cycles can get, I always come out with perspective gained. This time around a friend suggested I might be bored. What is that; boredom? I’ve always said I don’t get bored. How could one ever be bored? So much is happening every second of every day. A leaf is falling from a tree somewhere nearby, nails need clipping, a pencil on paper can create magic, that same pencil tapped against a glass of water triggers beautiful sound waves, THERE ARE DUST PARTICLES FLOATING AROUND YOUR FACE RIGHT NOW AND YOU CAN WATCH THEM!!!! How is any of that boring??

Here's why I'm a hypocrite: this column was conceived during a conversation about this very matter; how I lose my mind if I’m alone with it too long. Oh, yeah... the column. Timely as ever. I tapped into my list of assignments to see which one could air out the smell of the shit that hit the fan last month. If boredom is my issue, I thought, I just need something to do. Yes. Time for my garden.*

I got inspired. I wrote down what herbs and vegetables I could potentially harvest. That list got lofty. It dwindled quickly after. I tend to think of million-dollar ideas, realize they cost a million dollars - or in this case, space I don’t have - and then scrap them. Baby steps, woman. I chose to start with a strawberry patch. I phoned a friend and realized I didn’t know what questions to ask. Then I asked stupid questions. (Yes, there are such things.) I next phoned my mama. She had a lot of good advice. See, the mother has quite the green thumb. You would think she passed it down to me, but I can only recall our family gardening as child labor. I was on my own now.

The (embarrassing) Process:

Multiple trips to Home Depot ending with me by the fresh lumber, deeply inhaling its smell, empty-handed, every time. Two nurseries that had everything priced considerably above my budget. A budget much too frugal. Cursing the project altogether and deciding it was a bad idea. I’m not sure why, but I was intimidated. What psychology, to be afraid of something just because it’s new and requires work. Still not knowing what questions to ask! Humans are stupid sometimes. I told my human brain to grow up and go for it. All of this to throw dirt and seeds in a box, sheesh. Finally, I did.

So, there. The deed is done and I feel like a changed man. Gardening takes a certain kind of loving (and a solid playlist with Moby, Ivy, Donna Lewis and The Cranberries). More importantly, it takes a deep sense of appreciation. The kind it takes to live in the moment and love the mundane. To make the familiar new again. Look at that.

So far so much.. I'm not pleased yet. This is only the start. Maybe I'll hang wind chimes. Patience, Nisalda.

Welp, until next time. I hope they don’t die. Sorry this was even longer than usual. Catching up, I guess. Thank you for tagging along on my shenanigans.


*Honorable mention: I did have one other task not on my list that helped shake me up. I want to share it here in the same vein as the garden because both were mental therapy and conducive to creating a healthy space. Without further ado, I purged. All those piles of stuff I drooled on: gone. I know I speak in metaphors and sarcasm, but I truly mean it when I advocate the whole “clear your space, clear your mind” philosophy. Careful now, I’m not sitting in an empty apartment. I simply gave away everything I don’t need. Clothes, books, shoes, dvds. It’s all just stuff and it was seriously killing my vibe. Feeling much better since. I do recommend it.


Nisalda was born in Brooklyn, NY to Dominican parents and raised in the cow fields and woods of central Florida. Her interests include acting, music, nature, art, travel and world culture. Currently based in Los Angeles, follow this late bloomer and her adventures at:



Instagram: @nisaldago